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Russian Public Smoking Ban Takes Critical Step Forward

Russian students smoke on a street in Moscow
Russia took a step towards clamping down on the tobacco industry on December 14 as a bill to ban smoking in public spaces and to restrict tobacco sales sailed through its first reading in parliament.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that 44 million Russians, nearly one in three, are hooked on smoking, and almost 400,000 die every year of smoking-related causes.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP